You can listen to the people who started the Iraq war. Or you can listen to people who've devoted their lives to studying war and the region.
There has been a lot of writing about Iraq's crisis, much of it awful. This is an attempt to shout out some people and pieces that can help you get behind the headlines.
Let's start with Marc Lynch, the George Washington University political science professor who writes at the Washington Post's Monkey Cage. Today, he points out that helping Iraq's Nouri al-Maliki fight the Sunni Arab uprising against him would in effect be fighting on the side of Bashar al-Assad. Should the United States actually intervene militarily in support of the Iraqi government, it will also find itself on the opposite side of many of the Arab networks that support the Syrian uprising," he writes.